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Using Automation as a Coaching Business to Operationalize Your Best Processes and People (with Jennelle McGrath)

Using Automation as a Coaching Business to Operationalize Your Best Processes and People (with Jennelle McGrath)

Learn how to automate your best-performing systems and free up your team for human interactions as a coaching business in this presentation recording from the Great to Elite Online Summit for Coaching Businesses with Jennelle McGrath, CEO of the marketing agency Market Veep.

Disjointed operations in a coaching business

When operations are disjointed and backend organization is lacking, it feels like this: the ostrich running by or the person sliding down the stairs. But your team and clients experience similar frustration: difficulty finding things, untimeliness, and things falling through the cracks. Automation and effective organization can help avoid most of this chaos.

Identify where the money comes from

How do we identify? Here are some stats for common departments and streamlining business operations in the back end. These figures represent average savings in the US, but actual numbers may vary. 

Our approach involves identifying gaps in systems and people within each department, implementing small strategies, testing them, and ensuring operational benefits for you. We then proceed to the next department to avoid disrupting all systems simultaneously. 

The goal is to reduce stress, have more time for personal interaction, and spend less time on mundane activities.

How to do cross departmental assessment to save money as a coaching business

The best way to operationalize: Connect & Integrate

When thinking about a business, most people focus on their website and emails. However, there are other crucial components in the backend that keep the operation running smoothly. 

The key to operationalizing and streamlining everything is to ensure seamless connectivity and integration among these components. This enables us to gather extensive data, establish triggers, and achieve transparent communication across departments.

While the examples provided are just a few, it's important to note that HubSpot offers integration with numerous applications. These mentioned examples, though, are the most commonly encountered ones.

Examples of applications that coaching businesses use that can be integrated

Add ARR and save ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue)

To simplify, this deck is divided into two sections: five ways to add ARR and three ways to save our ARR. Sales activities can be automated to avoid repetitive emails. Similarly, common questions can be resolved with a button click and automatically included in emails. Let's delve into the details of each.

How to add arr and save arr as a coach

Where is ARR hiding? 

So there are three main groups that we like to look at.

1. Organization

Thinking back to the bubble slide and the scattered data areas, they often lack communication. Imagine if they could communicate bidirectionally or unidirectionally, providing transparency not only within platforms but also across different team departments.

Jenelle mcgrath’s quote about the importance of centralizing data

2. You don't know what you don't know 

It's impossible for us to know where every user, prospect, or client engages with your website, social media, or sent documents throughout the day. The information is scattered and floating around. 

However, by gathering and consolidating that data, we can establish automation, triggers, and tasks to notify you of specific events, such as someone indicating interest based on lead scoring criteria. This approach automates processes and replicates your top performers. 

Thus, technology plays a crucial role in providing insights beyond what can be obtained through conversations alone.

3. Administrative tasks 

The most common issue we frequently encounter is people repetitively typing the same email over decades. Additionally, they struggle to locate notes on prospects from years ago that have resurfaced. 

Organizing and streamlining these aspects not only saves time currently but also in the future when transferring tasks to other sales team members. It significantly simplifies life.

Where to find your arr

How to add ARR

So, let's jump right in here. Here are five easy strategies so that you can sleep, your team can sleep, and everything still operates and functions as if you were there 24/7.

1. Lead scoring

I don't know how many people actively use lead scoring, but around seven out of ten users don't fully utilize its potential. Lead scoring is valuable for several reasons and should evolve as your business grows.

Lead scoring ensures that you invest time and energy in the most suitable prospects for your business. It identifies clients who generate significant revenue, are easy to work with, and have shorter closing cycles. Identifying these ideal clients through lead scoring enhances the sales process and improves overall engagement throughout the client's lifetime.

To make lead scoring effective, data accuracy is crucial. Cleaning up data in multiple places should be a priority to score against reliable information. Common factors considered when scoring leads include revenue size, team size, website engagement (e.g., email clicks and opens), and meeting history.

HubSpot allows tracking of this information, enabling the assignment of appropriate scores. You'll receive email notifications in the morning, informing you that Joe Smith's lead score has increased, indicating he is now a hot lead. Utilizing lead scores in this way triggers various actions and workflows.

How to add arr with lead scoring as a coaching business

2. Cross-selling and upselling

For those who are a good fit, revenue is a primary factor in determining their suitability. Consider the workflow on the right. The system assesses if they meet a specific threshold, allowing us to offer them a unique program.

For example, you can tailor programs for teams of specific sizes, revenue ranges, or industries. You can send them distinct materials compared to individual customers and establish separate pipelines and funnels for high-value clients.

All of this can be managed in the backend, eliminating the need for individual outreach or phone calls to gauge their readiness for a purchase. Everything can be triggered through emails, task assignments, and follow-up calls assigned to team members if necessary.

These triggers often consider factors like job titles or industries based on personas. Lead scoring is particularly effective in fine-tuning and ensuring that you dedicate time to cross-selling and upselling to prospects with the highest likelihood of closing.

How to add arr with cross sell and up sell as a coaching business

3. Sales pipelines 

The sales side is often underutilized in many companies we come across. Instead of having a single master pipeline, separating stages based on different customer journeys allows for triggered events and qualifying criteria popups when moving deals between stages. This organization ensures everything remains organized and enables unique events for each program.

Having ten pipelines is not necessary, as streamlining processes is our common approach. Companies with territories may not benefit from this setup.

How to add arr with sales pipelines as a coaching business

The provided example demonstrates how a pipeline would appear on the front end for your team. Daily reviews of automation on the back end are essential. Note that the demo portal created may not match your actual setup precisely.

Below are common automation actions for the sales pipeline's backend: personalized video sending at specific deal stages, lead routing, automatic task assignment, sending presentations, questionnaires, contracts, and QuickBooks integration for billing.

Example of how to automate sales pipeline

These actions avoid disjointed systems and manual communication through automation. Notifications can be sent via Slack, HubSpot, or email. The goal is to ensure everyone is on the same page, with documented and organized activities, enabling any team member to understand the entire sales cycle for a specific department or service group.

Once a deal is closed, it can be automatically moved to the service pipeline, triggering a different set of activities for delivering excellent service and ensuring a great customer experience.

4. Event signups/follow-ups

Whether it's big groups, little groups, or summits, here's a short example. Events like these often involve multiple branching conditions. In this example, there's only one if-then branch, but the concept remains the same as the sales pipeline. Treating these events as unique in an event pipeline allows for the automation of various activities.

For instance, you can automatically warm up attendees before the event by sending them video emails to generate excitement. If they couldn't attend, you can send them the recording. Clicking on that branch can trigger an offer to book a meeting. Lead scoring remains crucial in this process. 

Assigning lead scores to all registered event participants enables segmentation based on specific criteria, such as event attendance and engagement with videos. This segmentation allows for automatic sending of calendar links for one-on-one or group sessions, or registration for the next event.

This automation is particularly valuable as it provides a clear understanding of attendees' actions in the background. The automation streamlines the process, doing the heavy lifting for you.

How to add arr with event sign ups and follow ups

5. Sales activity 

Here's a list of common sequences we encounter. The goal of these sequences is to eliminate repetitive typing, saving time. Frequently used scripts can be stored in HubSpot. With a simple click, the script automatically populates, and further customization is possible.

The core content of these emails remains consistent, such as expressing gratitude or apologizing for missed calls. Drafting these emails repeatedly is unnecessary, especially for those who ignore your messages. The system takes care of it. Each sequence typically consists of three to five parts spread across nurturing emails.

Manually sending each email in the sequence (2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) is not required. The system handles the process. For example, if someone misses a scheduled meeting, enrolling them in the "Sorry, we missed each other" sequence will prompt the system to send subsequent emails based on your timing settings.

The only way they won't receive those emails is if they reply back. The system recognizes replies and removes them from the sequence. This feature saves time by reducing the need for constant chasing via emails and phone calls. Additionally, you can assign tasks within the system to follow up at specific points, receiving email reminders when it's time to follow up.

Overall, this automation simplifies and streamlines the process.

How to add arr with automated sales activity

How to save ARR

1. Chatbots and knowledge base 

Typing the same responses repeatedly is time-consuming. Common inquiries like pricing, navigation instructions, and access to previous meeting materials can be automated and stored in a knowledge base database. This saves time by avoiding the need to retype information.

In emails, you can click a button to retrieve relevant knowledge articles. These articles cover various topics, including common questions. The knowledge base can also include non-business-specific subjects.

A chatbot, shown in the image, operates even when you're unavailable. If a prospect meets pre-qualifying criteria or leads scoring requirements, the chatbot can offer personalized assistance. It may ask for the person's name, team size, or other relevant details. If the prospect meets requirements, the chatbot can respond with a message like, "Thank you! We'd love to schedule a meeting," and provide a calendar link for booking.

How to save arr with chatbots and knowledgebase as a coach

2. Client & team onboarding

We use HubSpot for CMS, marketing, sales, and service. About two years ago, we started building out our service processes. Our goal is to respond to client inquiries within one to two hours. We have set up safeguards and personalized notifications, including welcome videos and contracts, which are all automated now.

How to save arr with client and team onboarding as a coaching business

We utilize these processes for team onboarding and client onboarding. Similar to a sales pipeline, a service pipeline is established with unique actions triggered at each stage.

Clients receive email notifications for completed stages and important announcements. They can access the client portal, which centralizes communication and documents. This organized approach provides easy access and a clear overview.

Example of how to automate client onboarding

The portal information can be consolidated into reporting dashboards and automatically emailed to specific teams or members.

For example, the Domino's Tracker sends notifications at each step of the pizza delivery process, providing a seamless experience. The same principles can be applied to your service, improving client experiences, relationships, and retention through automation.

Actions can be triggered based on time spent in a pipeline stage and captured information. HubSpot offers default and custom properties, allowing tracking of how clients heard about your organization and running unique social media campaigns.

Integration with QuickBooks is possible, and a program called Alice can automate sending gifts or swag to welcome clients.

Example of how client automation creates great experiences

3. Reporting

Often, this can be a vortex where reports are manually pulled from different systems and merged. Five years ago, we transitioned all our clients to HubSpot for transparent reporting and consolidated revenue sources.

How to save arr as a coaching business with reporting

HubSpot provides insights on channels, contacts, and customers. Another screenshot shows revenue breakdown by channel and customer type, enabling detailed analysis. These reports are available as dashboards within HubSpot and can be automatically emailed to you on a daily, monthly, or weekly basis.

You can have different dashboards for VC boards, leadership boards, HR boards, or specific needs. HubSpot is highly customizable, offering various visual representations with hundreds of options to choose from and further customization capabilities.

Example of customizable dashboards for coaching businesses

Key takeaways from this presentation

Streamlining operations and implementing automation in a coaching business can alleviate frustration for both the team and clients. 

By identifying revenue sources, integrating systems, and utilizing HubSpot's capabilities, businesses can improve efficiency, save time, enhance customer experiences, and drive growth. 

Effective organization, centralization of data, and automation of administrative tasks contribute to stronger data hygiene and increased productivity.

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